If looking ahead to 2017 feels a lot like it did in 2016, that's because it is. There is some major deja vu happening as many of the places we prophesized about last year didn't quite come to fruition for one reason or another. But they're definitely probably maybe about to happen in the near future.
The next year will bring some sweeping changes to the east side landscape — physically, socially and economically — as major community projects and developments are set to launch. Here are five things we're most looking forward to welcoming in 2017.
REVITALIZATION OF THE NEW BROADVIEW HOTEL
The rundown drab of Jilly's feels like a distant memory when you pass by the restored lustre of the Broadview Hotel these days. While the exterior and mechanicals of the renovation are now complete, the hotel’s interior will be ready for a grand unveil in the spring of 2017. Reinvigorated as the cornerstone of the neighbourhood, the 125-year-old building will welcome guests to its boutique hotel with 58 guest rooms, a rooftop terrace and a restaurant, lobby bar and cafe operated by the team behind Enoteca Ascari. The interior design will also feature some subtle nods to its past as Jilly's.
CREATION OF THE CARLAW & DUNDAS TRIANGLE
The City of Toronto is moving ahead with public realm improvements in the Carlaw-Dundas neighbourhood. Part of that involves a 2017 overhaul of the surface lot where Dundas St., Carlaw Ave. and Dickens St. meet — otherwise known locally as the Carlaw-Dundas triangle. It's part of the City's ongoing plan to strengthen the zone as a hub for small businesses and cultural activities. High-quality construction materials will include installation of green space and public art that will transform the highly visible intersection into a new urban "town square" that will act as a community focal point. Check out the City's plans for more info.
LAUNCH OF STREETCAR CROWSNEST
Since 1983 it's been recognized for its daring productions, and now Toronto's Crow’s Theatre is launching the first professional performing arts facility of its kind east of the DVP. Streetcar Crowsnest, the $11-million, 200-seat venue will bring the theatre company's award-winning original works to life in Leslieville, while also playing host to social events, performances, art classes and community programming. The opening of the facility, which will include a 100-seat restaurant and bar, is imminent — expect it to welcome theatre-goers in January.
TRIO OF MICROBREWERIES
While celebrated brewmaster Luc "Bim" Lafontaine's plans to open a 6,000 square-foot brew pub on Coxwell Ave. didn't get off the ground in 2016, there is action at the site and all signs are pointing for a 2017 launch.
Eastbound Brewing is expected to open early in the year from the husband-wife team of brewmaster David Lee, formerly of Kensington Brewing Company, Mill Street Brewery and Grand River Brewing, and chef Tara Lee of Bar Hop Brewco. The new 3,500 square foot space will include an open-concept 80-seat kitchen, an in-house brewery with five fermenters and a bottle shop to take away beer.
Rorschach Brewing Co. is a new brewpub currently in the works in the former space of Le Papillon on the Park on the western edge of Woodbine Park. The brewpub will feature a 10 barrel brewhouse with six fermenters and two bright tanks where Reiner will produce “craft beers that are complex and flavourful but also highly drinkable.”
RELAUNCH OF THE JAM FACTORY
After shutting down for redevelopment, The Jam Factory is set to relaunch its event space in February 2017. With a name paying homage to the industrious jam factory that used to call the place home, the 3,000 square-foot funky loft venue is getting an overhaul to welcome weddings, rehearsal space for dance and music, art shows and community workshops. The Jam Factory features a mix of brick, hardwood and steel, that has been left, for the most part, in its original condition. Upgrades to the washroom, stage and bar are currently underway.
Have we missed any anticipated openings, special events or other news worth highlighting for 2017? Please let us know in the comments section below.